MUNICH -- BMW is taking control of its operations in Hungary. The German luxury-car maker is following an industry trend that it pioneered decades ago in countries such as Japan.
BMW Hungary will be responsible for product strategy, pricing, marketing and after sales.
The new subsidiary will also offer financing for both customers and dealers. In addition, BMW wants to make sure that the corporate identity of BMW dealerships in Hungary will match its identity throughout Europe.
BMW will replace current importer Wallis Motor on May 1, the same day Hungary and nine other countries join the European Union.
BMW's 13 dealers in Hungary sold 811 BMWs, 103 Minis, and 244 BMW motorcycles last year. BMW Hungary aims to increase its number of dealers and its sales significantly, but declined to provide details or a timeframe.
Eastern Europe is high on the agenda for BMW, which aims to take control of operations in all 10 of the new EU countries. The automaker started the takeovers more than a year ago when it formed BMW Polska in Poland.